“Inspiration is for amateurs,” said Chuck Close. Here are some quotes I’ve collected over time about the importance of perseverance.
“Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, and with each other.” —Paulo Freire
“Have a bias toward action—let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.”—Indira Gandhi
“Genius is 99 percent perspiration, one percent inspiration.” —Thomas Edison
“Unless you are struggling with finding an answer, there is a guarantee you won’t find it. Your contribution will be minimal.” — Wangari Maathai
“An idea without action is like a bow without an arrow.” — Martin Luther King
“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” —Pearl S. Buck
“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” — Chuck Close
“Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.” —Debbie Millman
“Will and discipline, it turns out, are highly overrated. We each have one reservoir we draw on, and it gets progressively depleted each time we use it to get something done…. A ritualized approach to practice helps conserve our precious and finite reserves of energy.” — Tony Schwartz
“Tenacity doesn’t always work, but it’s the only thing that does.” — Bill Foege
See also The Power of Repetition.